Author Topic: Triangulation taping technique  (Read 5031 times)

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ljh007

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Triangulation taping technique
« on: Jul 20, 2007, 08:59 am »
IF you can't find a solution that will make the dancers happy and end up having to re-tape every night, I've got a suggestion that should make it faster.
I SM'd a production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that ended up in something like four different rehearsal spaces, including a dance rehearsal room.  To make taping the floor easier, I made a gadget!
  • Grab some chunks of 3/4" ply that are about 1'x1'.
  • Sink a screw into the middle of each, but not all the way through.
  • Put one chunk on each corner of your floorplan.
  • Draw straight lines from the screw to the edge of the plywood along the line of your wall on each of your squares.
  • When re-taping, use an appropriate length string tied to the screw, or a measuring tape to find the lenght of your wall, line it up with your next chunk, and viola.
Instead of plotting all your points, you can now plot just one or two and get the rest of the shape from there.  Initial set up for this can be a little arduous (STRAIGHT lines ar your friend!), but it probably saved me five or six hours over the course of the rehearsal process.

This is actually a variation of the triangulation taping technique. There used to be a great step-by-step explanation of triangulation on this site, but I can't find it anymore. I had acutually copied it out into one of my SM reference binders, but can't find that either. Does anyone have a clear explanation of triangulation, for those who have not yet enjoyed this delightful taping method?

ChaCha

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Re: Triangulation taping technique
« Reply #1 on: Jul 20, 2007, 12:44 pm »
personally I am not sure I would use the words 'delightful' and 'enjoy' in a sentence with 'triangulation technique'...I'm hoping, ljh007, that I can imagine some subtext to your comment?!

My advice for those entering into triangulation - take chocolate!
ChaCha

ljh007

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Re: Triangulation taping technique
« Reply #2 on: Jul 27, 2007, 08:19 pm »
No no, seriously. I like math and triangulation and the geometry it uses. It's a great technique that makes taping certain plans much quicker and easier.
I'm still trying to find my notes...

KMC

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Re: Triangulation taping technique
« Reply #3 on: Jul 28, 2007, 01:00 am »
This is a great reason why all stage managers should take a course in hand drafting :o).
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

rocco

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Re: Triangulation taping technique
« Reply #4 on: Jul 28, 2007, 02:56 am »
Wow, it only took reading it six times to get it, but it sounds dead useful. Let me make sure i got this straight, the string provides the length of the wall while the angle drawn on the plywood provides the angle? Im curious why a drafting curse would be neccessary to do it...

KMC

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Re: Triangulation taping technique
« Reply #5 on: Jul 28, 2007, 10:33 am »
A drafting course isn't absolutely necessary, but it helps you understand principles like this and apply them to a taping a floor.  And after all, a floorplan is nothing more than a full scale drafting.
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

Jessie_K

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Re: Triangulation taping technique
« Reply #6 on: Jul 28, 2007, 10:40 am »
Basic steps in triangulation.  It takes 3 people.  1 to find coordinates on the groundplan and 2 to do actual measuring and taping.

Find 2 points at opposite sides of your groundplan.  (Proscenium R and L works well)

Mark those points on your floor.  Attach a long tape measure to each point.

Using a scale rule, find the coordinates of the corners of the objects you want to draw.  (10'3" from Prosc L and 9'4" from Prosc R.  Just measure in a straight line from reference points to corners, you will be making a triangle)

Then using your long measuring tapes find where 10'3" on the left one intersects 9'4" on the right one.  Where they line up, is corner of your triangle and the corner of whatever object you are trying to tape out.

It is best to do the paperwork in advance and have all your coordinates mapped out ahead of time so you can just call the numbers to your tapers.

I used to use triangulation a lot in college for taping groundplans.  Now I most use more of a grid system with a tape measure on center line and measuring out to the sides to find points.

I DO however still use triangulation to find USC.  DSC is usually easy (just go off architecture), but USC can be tricky.  So I will have people hold the tape measures at proscenium corners and then find where same numbers intersect along the line that I want my mark.  Viola, accurate USC. 

ljh007

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Re: Triangulation taping technique
« Reply #7 on: Jul 28, 2007, 11:23 am »
Yes, Jessie - this is exactly the method I'm talking about!

A few notes for those who have never triangulated before...
- you will need to use long vinyl tape measures (metal tape measures will not work - they have to be more flexible).
- you can use any two arbitrary points on the DS line to triangulate from. Proscenium points are fine, but it truly can be random as long as the points don't move.
- because the two arms can meet at only one point, triangulation is extremely precise - measuring the point within centimeters when done correctly.
- for some plans, triangulation is not the best choice. If you have a lot of up-down/left-right and 90-degree angles, just do your x/y coordinates. Keep life simple.

[turns closet inside out again looking for original scribbled notes on triangulation...]

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